Hype is real

It’s hard to think otherwise, isn’t it, after what we watched today? David Ortiz doesn’t throw out the Pedro comparison loosely, and Papi mentioned Matsuzaka in the same breath following today’s game. Check out everything Papi had to say. When a great hitter like Ortiz is saying stuff like this, it’s hard not to think it’s valid.

“I’m very impressed with him. He reminds me of Pedro
when he’s pitching. He has total control of the game when he’s out there, you
know what I mean? I saw him in Spring
Training, his first inning he’d start kind of start slow and boom, he’d pick it up
like that. Amazing.

"As a pitcher, I believe when you don’t have it that day,
it’s hard to pick it up. I don’t know how he does it. There might be some
Japanese drink. I’m going to try to talk to him to see if he can get me some of
that. He’s got great stuff man. Every pitch he throws  .. when you watch him on
TV, it’s like a Nintendo game. he throws pitches that normally pitchers don’t
throw for a strike. He’s got pitches that, they just disappear when they get
to the plate."

That says it all. I don’t think any of us would have predicted 10 K’s in the debut. That was something. Imagine when he gets the Fenway crowd behind him. It might be the loudest we’ve heard it for a pitcher since the golden Pedro years — 1999 and 2000.

It says something when the Red Sox really aren’t trying to tone down the hype. Tito pretty much came out and said after the game that this type of pitching is probably the norm for Dice-K. I thought this quote was very revealing:

 

“My guess is after what I’ve seen in spring training and
today, that’s how he pitches. Some pitchers, especially young pitchers, you’ll
see them do it every three or four outings, you’ll see a gem. And the other
outings they can’t command it and they lose. I don’t think you’ll see that with
this guy. I think that’s the way he pitches.”

Also, I thought it was classy that Francona pointed out the two scouts after the game who were most responsible for the signing of Matsuzaka. That would be Craig Shipley and Jon Deeble, a couple of Aussies who have blanketed the Far East for the Sox.

 

“It’s easy for us to take our bows today. I think Ship
and Deebs, I wish I could show you the scouting report, because what they
wrote down was pretty true. That’s a pretty neat day for them. I hope they
share in the fun of this day.”

 
Ian.

 

32 Comments

I’m so incredibly psyched! Everyone keeps saying to me, “It’s just the Royals” and “Wait’ll everyone’s seen him a few times,” but I can’t help but believe this guy’s for real.

It’s just the Royals all right, but they did pound us on Monday.

However, I’ll have side with Ian on this one: I don’t think anybody predicted 10Ks in his debut. And like Big Papi and Ian are saying, the Pedro comparisons, just might be SO valid.

If Schilling can bounce back, and if Beckett can be consistent, I’d say 1 to 3 we have REALLY good pitching (and that feels like an understatement).

Schilling WILL bounce back. I’m sure of that. The guy’s too proud. Josh got his W, Dice-K got his too, so Curt probably can’t wait for his next start.

He made it pretty clear in Spring Training : he doesn’t just WANT to be the ace of the staff, he HAS to. It’s in him.

Against the Rangers, i’m sure he will have fire in the eyes, and so behind his pitches !

The one thing that stands out to me with Dice-K is that he is extremely composed and has loads of confidence. No matter what happened in that game he would just look at Tek and nod his head like to say “I got it.” Also the way he had control with every one of his pitches was incredible. He would throw to two curves for the first two strikes and then put a fastball right on the black of the outside corner, what made this crazier was he did the same thing in his last inning of work. The guy belongs here and should never be mentioned in the same breath as Irabu. Pedro in the prime of his carrer comparisons are a little too heavy for me right now, especially so early. By the all-star break we will know for sure if those are justified.

What got lost in this game is that Papelbon looked just as good as he did last year in this game.

On Schilling, he had his first really bad game in a decade. Someone whose has been that reliable for so long means there is very little doubt that he will falter so badly againg. Hes just too smart, experienced, and above all proud too have a bad year.

A series that turned out fantastic with great things happening to Drew, Pedroia, Beckett, and Dice-K to name a few. Plus that AL East lead is SO key at this point of the year (sarcasm).

Hard to believe the Yank’s strategy of lousy pitching and lousy defense didn’t work again last night.

Agree on Shilling. In weather that cold (and I hate to say at his age) it’s hard to get a grip on the ball. When the weather warms Shill will be everything we have come to expect from a pitcher of his caliber. I can honestly see 17+ wins contributed by the Shill man. 20 for Beckett and the Dice…..oh well lets say he could match early Clemens / Guidry (dare I say MacLane) numbers. On another note I yeild to my learned Yankee colleague on the subject of announcer teams. The Yankee’s team for the most is fair however there is one in that booth that is questionable. However for the most part you are right.

I live in Chicago and can vouch that the White Sox announcers are the worst. When the Red Sox are in town, I definitely hit the mute button during the games.

If the weathers cold, and you can’t get a grip do what Kenny Rogers does.

Actually at my blog plls.blogspot.com (mlb 07 game 1)I predicted a horrible outing by Schilling. If you look at his last few games at KC he was terrible, so he just continued the trend.

Look for him to bounce back on Sunday night.

Great news on Jon Lester: “Lester looked sharp in his first start… He allowed two hits and one walk with five strikeouts over four scoreless innings.
… reaching 96 mph on the radar gun.” Wakefield and Tavarez should be well motivated to perform.

Yeap. Sunday night baseball, Sox-Rangers with Schill on the mound. Now that’s good stuff.

And Wake is the starter today. Happy to be home early so i can catch the game. Looking forward to see slamming Sammy chasing the knuckelball like it’s a butterfly !

Game on, folks.

Lester feeling good is GREAT news. I can’t wait to see him on the mound again.

It’s pretty easy to get excited over Dice-K’s performance, but isn’t it just a little early to be tossing out Pedro comparisons? In five years, let’s see if he has a chance to compare to Pedro. In fairness though, he certainly appears to have the tools to be a good one.

It would be really nice to see the bats wake up some time soon. A complete and total sleep walk at the plate in 2 of 4 games is not a pretty sight. The guy who started for Texas had a 7+ ERA in 20+ innings at home last year.

Keep in mind though Rayman, that it is colder there and the ball is not flying out as well as it would in 80 degree weather. We have had a couple of shots that may have gone out in warmer weather. Still no excuse for that p i s s poor job through 7 innings. Great outing by Wake, lets hope its not wasted. Got a man on now against Beniot with the big boys coming up.

CMON NOW SAWX!

That was a yawner. If we were struggling at the plate at least we could have worked the count. Tejeda with 77 pitches in 7 innings is amazing. Need to get the bats going tomorrow.

I don’t have any problem with someone saying that Matsuzaka reminded them of Pedro on a particular day. That is quite different than saying he IS as great as Pedro was.

Anyone remember the 1985 NCAA basketball championship? Villanova shot 85% from the floor and beat a heavily favored Georgetown team. Not many people would say that Villanova was a great team. On that day however, they were the best.

Matsuzaka hasn’t proven himself to be in the same class as Pedro. But he has shown that he might be.

You think sometimes that Wake might just walk in the clubhouse and let fly with a Sid Caesar type howl of frustration? 4 total bases for the Sox in the whole game? C’mon guys! A waste of a great pitching performance. Ah, well, they’ll be better tomorrow.

I think the one positive thing about this game is that Crisp built on his big hit in yesterday’s game with a H and a BB today.

Him getting started is a big plus to the bottom part of the lineup and a boost to his confidence. I won’t be surprised if he bats 7th tomorrow just behind Lowell.

Its the same thing that happened last year with Wake. He could pitch great but gets no offense because his style of pitching doesn’t let the offense get into a rhythm. Whether thats right or wrong the fact is that the offense rarely does well when Wake starts.

Nice job this afternoon by Wake-but now can we wake up the bats?

Hard to believe the Sox strategy of crappy offense and wasted pitching didn’t work out for them again, eh Rayman?:)

Glad we can all agree on how much hatred we have for “the Hawk” That guy is a *****.

I dont get it. It is so darn frustrating, every time (almost) wake pitches fine, more than fine, he only lets up 1,2 or 3 runs but the sox cant hit, do the hitters dislike him or something?

^^Its rhythm man. Wakefield’s pace is so slow that the hitters can’t gain any momentum.

Tomorrow is gonna be interesting cuz we will get the first glimpse at Taverez and whether or not he can pitch like he did in September last year.

I think its much more likely that the Sox bats (Ortiz, Ramirez) are going heat up vs. the Yanks pitching. Their rotation is laughable at this point… like a syringe on the Jersey Shore… all washed up.

Ian, ( or Jeff, or anyone ) i got a question :

Since monday is a day off, will Tavarez still get his next start right on ROTATION schedule ( would be friday ) or will he skip it to allow Schill to pitch on the CALENDAR schedule ( every 5 days ).

I mean, in August i’m sure Schilling would be on the mound tonight. Actually, i wanna know for how long the 5th starter won’t miss a start even with a day off between 2 start.

Maybe it’ll all depend on Tavarez performances ?

I just read my question in that last comment.

“…in August, i’m sure Schilling would be on the mound tonight…”

I should’ve added : since last tuesday was also a day off.

You’re absolutely right, the Yankees entire pitching staff will have a 6.00 ERA the entire season. Kudos for your objective comments. The starting pitching will also maintain a solid 10+ ERA. Yankees vs opponents: 19-18
Sox vs Opponents: 12-10

You see what happens when you actually consider numbers when discussing baseball numbers?

Vince stop letting your fustration out on everyone. Sox fans are happy aboot our trotation sucess and yours failure so far, we like our bragging rights once and a while.

If I had frustration it would not be expressed on a Sox blog, that is asking for crucifiction (happy Easter everybody, btw!) I don’t have any issue about you guys liking your rotation, I do have issue with you guys liking your rotation, then bashing the Yankees one and then trying to sell it as a permanent situation without seeing your own temporary shortcomings. There is a difference between celebrating what is going right and ignorantly pointing out other team’s shortcomings and then refusing to acknowledge your own.

There in lies the main difference. You may consider it necessary to express bragging rights on on April 7th, I will wait until October 1st. Of course, not if it warrants an earlier entrance.

Vince, you said it yourself, it’s a Sox blog. What do you expect ? Impartial analysis ? You’re smarter than that.

I know you’re a long time regular and it’s o.k. but please, stop jumping at the throat to anyone who post a Sox fanatic comment. For us, it’s kind of an energy release.

Monday night, after the slap in the face Schilling took in K.C., don’t tell me there weren’t a zillion comments on Yankees blogs, saying things like : ” Ha Ha ! Is that their 1st starter ? Can’t wait to face him. He’s too old at 40 ” and others nice comments like that.

That night, Yankees fans were jubilating ! Did you jump at their throat, telling them it wasn’t fair to judge him on that 1st game ?

Again, it’s o.k. to have your opinion, but unlike Sox and Pinstripes ( I’m Alan on your blog btw ! ) it’s a Sox blog here. No offence, but you’re gonna have to deal with it without reacting each and every time an anti-yanks comment is posted.

Otherwise you’ll have a heart attack before all-star break !!

That being said, i’m pretty cool with you and the ennemy-point-of-view that you bring to this blog. And Happy Easter to you too :)

I just saw another Alan on your blog. I’m not the one you discussed with earlier today, i’m the one who told you about your fantasy team earlier this week.

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